21 Interesting Facts About France
1. France is the largest nation in Western Europe, with countries like Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Andorra and Monaco sharing its boundary.
2. It has nearly 3000 miles of seashore, with three major water bodies: the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, and the English Channel.
3. It is also referred to as L’Hexagone, which means the hexagon, due to the geometrical shape of the country.
4. Kilts originated in France, not Scotland
5. Stilts were invented in France by shepherds who needed a way to get around in the wet marshes.
6. France is also home to the Louvre, one of the largest art museums in the world. It’s in the Capital, and is easily reachable by the Paris hop on hop off bus.
7. In France, a glass pyramid stands outside the Louvre museum as a tribute to the ancient Egyptians and their amazing world.
8. The average French citizen eats 500 snails each year.
9. France has seven mountain ranges and five major river systems.
10. One punishment for an adulterous wife in medieval France was to make her chase a chicken through town naked.
11. The distress code “Mayday comes from the French for help me, M’Aide!
12. Though traditionally there are around 300 to 400 varieties of French cheese, there are in fact over 1000 different types available in the French market. The French love their cheese!
13. The country is one of the largest wine-producing nations in the world. There are 17 distinct wine-producing regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Loire and Provence that continue with the tradition of wine making in France. Goes well with all that cheese!
14. Beer is considered a luxury drink saved for special occasions, wine is free with most meals.
15. The Palace of Versailles, which was occupied by the kings of France, have been said to be haunted by Marie Antoinette, the beheaded Queen of France.
16. An underground rail tunnel, known as the Channel Tunnel, joins England and France. It runs beneath the English Channel, connecting Folkestone, Kent in England and Coquelles, near Calais in France.
17. The concept of Jean clothing was born in the Languedoc-Roussillon city of Nimes, France, from where it was imported by Levi Strauss to California to make tough clothes for gold diggers.
18. France is the home of the TGV – Train à Grande Vitesse, French for high-speed train. A TGV test train set the record of being the fastest train when it reached a speed of 357 mph on April 3, 2007.
19. France is where the gothic art and the Baroque style of architecture were born. This is the reason why there are numerous cathedrals and buildings that are fine examples of gothic art.
20. From the French Alps to the marvelous beaches lining the azure waters in the French Riviera, France is one of the most visited countries in the world. In 2007, it attracted as many as 81.9 million tourists. This number was greater than its population!
21. The Minitel service, was started as far back as 1984, where people could pay their bills, and even shop from their very homes.